Thursday, May 31, 2012

Lemon Poppyseed Cranberry Icebox Cookies

These are cookies for a tea party.

They're buttery, evenly sized, and have polka dots of cranberry scattered throughout.

So I had a tea party, with iced tea because, well, it's been hot in Chicago.

Did you know you can use wet-erase markers on glasses (and probably on glazed ceramic tea cups/saucers, too, but don't quote me on it) to tell whose is whose? It slides right off in the dishwasher or just under the tap. That's common scents!

With the cookies, we served grapes and cheese and crackers. It was no-fuss entertaining.

Grapes are awesome because they're easy to find most of the year, people like them, they're bite sized so no one stains anything, and all you have to do is wash them and put them in a bowl. More common scents right thurr.

And cheese and crackers add body to the spread.

I should add that the dough for the cookies needs to chill, so it's a make-ahead affair. I kept mine in the fridge for a couple of days and it baked up wonderfully. Slicing cold cookie logs is such get to see the pretty insides!

It's simple. After all, it's having friends over to chat that counts, not tablescaping and flimsy paper umbrellas and napkin rings that you hand origami-ed.

Lemon Poppyseed Cranberry Icebox Cookies
Yield: about 45 cookies, plus the weird looking ends (they make great snacking!)


2 cups all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon zest (zest from 1 whole lemon)
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tablespoon poppy seeds

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until soft and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, and vanilla, and beat until well blended, another 2 minutes. Stop the mixer to scrape down the bowl as necessary.
  3. Add the flour mixture, lemon zest, cranberries, and poppy seeds, all at once, to the egg mixture and beat on low speed until just incorporated. 
  4. Divide the dough in half and place each half on a sheet of waxed paper. Press each half into a log 1 inch in diameter. Roll into plastic wrap and store in the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours, although overnight is best.
  5. When ready to bake, place racks in the middle and upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F (or 325 degrees F convection). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  6. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, unwrap, and use a knife to slice dough into 1/3-inch-thick rounds. Place on baking sheet about 1 inch apart.
  7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until barely browned around the edges, rotating halfway through baking. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Cookies will last in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook.

P.S. I half wanted to make a lemon glaze with powdered sugar and lemon juice and drizzle it over...if that mood strikes you, let me know how it goes! Or, sub in different fruits, different zests (Joy used orange), different seeds. It's up to you!

P.P.S. Joy's recipe came from smitten kitchen, who got it from Dorie Greenspan.

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